Wildenstein & Co., New York and Buenos Aires
Andreas E. T. Sperry, Buenos Aires
Fritz Nathan, Zürich
Private Collection (Acquired circa 1965 thence by descent to the present owner)
London, The Lefevre Gallery, XIX and XX Century French Paintings and Drawings, 1963, no. 17
Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1965
Roslyn Harbor, Nassau County Museum of Art, Shock of Modernism, 1984, no. 47
Théodore Duret, Sisley, London, 1912, illustrated pl. 98
François Daulte, Alfred Sisley, catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre peint, Lausanne, 1959, no. 844, illustrated
François Daulte, Alfred Sisley, Milan, 1974, illustrated p. 81
Raymond Cogniat, Sisley, New York, 1978, illustrated p. 87
“Sisley’s art did not stand still during his last two decades, and modifications to his technique, palette and approach to subject matter were certainly introduced…As a pure landscape painter, Sisley’s name was most frequently linked by critics to that of Monet, especially from 1880s onwards. In part this was provoked by an interest in similar themes: (such as) haystacks…” (Sylvie Patin, Alfred Sisley, exhibition catalogue, New Haven and London, 1992, pp. 183-84).
The subject of the hay or grain stacks did not loom as large in Sisley’s oeuvre as it did for Monet, and there are notable differences in how the artists treated the same subject. In several of Sisley’s compositions, the stacks are a small presence in the distance of the landscape – they take on no more significance than the trees and rolling landscape, and in each case he includes figures which Monet has not done. In this one particular example, the stack is shown most prominently and its monumental proportions are highlighted by the adjacent figure. The long shadow thrown by the structure adds a more dramatic sense to this composition and suggest the low position of the sun.
Unlike Monet, Sisley did not venture far seeking his motifs. He remained centered in the region of Saint-Mammès, to the north of Moret, at the point where the Loing river flows into the Seine. The present work was painted in this region. Though a leading figure of the Impressionist movement along with Monet, Pissarro and Renoir, Sisley did not enjoy the same degree of material success and, consequently, was unable to travel widely. But true to his artistic origins, Sisley found that the ever changing light and atmospheric effects on his native countryside could provide all the variety he needed to continue a vigorous production.
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